VOGONS


My oldschool rigs (updated once again)

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Reply 80 of 100, by bugs_bugger

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As I remember, CF is much smaller than a 40 wire ata cable. The adaptor you linked to is not sufficient. You will need an adaptor which also compensates for the difference in width.

Reply 81 of 100, by retro games 100

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bugs_bugger wrote:

As I remember, CF is much smaller than a 40 wire ata cable. The adaptor you linked to is not sufficient. You will need an adaptor which also compensates for the difference in width.

I was hoping to fit that small 40 pin male-to-male adapter on to the end of a ribbon cable. Then, the CF (female) 40 pin device would fit on to this m-to-m adapter. (Then, the CF card would go inside the CF device.)

Reply 83 of 100, by Tualatin

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retro games 100 wrote:

I need to do what @5u3 has done, and get a Compact Flash to IDE adapter with a (8 GB Transcend 133x) CF card. This is because getting a fairly modern PCI based IDE controller card to work on a 486 mobo is too problematic. Sometimes the mobo doesn't 'see' the controller card at all, and so therefore booting up from a HDD is impossible. On other 486 boards, the controller card is 'seen', but other problems occur such as resource conflicts with other cards in the mobo, such as the graphics card!

That's right. This is exactly why I made a Pentium3 era mobo my main DOS system.

retro games 100 wrote:

But I'm worried about something - getting 486 boards to work is a bit problematic anyway! Getting them to work with something very modern, such as these special IDE adapters + CF cards, seems like "asking for trouble"! Sure, @5u3 has been successful 😁 😎 , but will this success vary depending on 486 mobo to 486 mobo? - ie, will some mobos work OK with this, and not others?

99% it will work. Well I have tried some and it did for me. However I ended up using a 2.5" hard drive for these purposes.

retro games 100 wrote:

I'm thinking of getting a 2gb and 8gb CF cards. I am guessing that a typical integrated IDE port on a 486 mobo will not be able to cope with anything larger. After that, the next step is to get a decent and reliable (not cheap and nasty) IDE adapter from ... you all know where!

Any comments very gratefully received. 😀

My advice > get an 8GB PATA SSD. No converters involved > better 😉

Reply 84 of 100, by swaaye

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Something like a Socket 5 or 7 mobo that has an Intel chipset would probably be quite usable. But ya, 486 era and older gets you into some very headache-inducing fun most of the time.

Of course, right now I have a Supermicro P6SKE that is being a total pain with lockups that I can't solve. It's probably age or damage related. Just another variable in the retro enthusiast's nightmare that can never be predicted. 😀

Reply 85 of 100, by Tualatin

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swaaye wrote:

Something like a Socket 5 or 7 mobo that has an Intel chipset would probably be quite usable. But ya, 486 era and older gets you into some very headache-inducing fun most of the time.

I have an original Intel Advanced/ML Socket 7 motherboard and it's one of the pickiest I have ever used. Not only it doesn't like expansion cards but also well partly to blame AMI bios has very strict boot order. Stay away unless you need 3 ISA slots 😁

Reply 86 of 100, by retro games 100

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Regarding PCI controller cards, I got this ancient looking thing off ebay. (No one else was interested. 🤣 ) I've not had a chance to test it yet, but I'm hoping I might get lucky, and it'll work on a suitably ancient mobo such as a 486. I think it's worth a try.

PS - just wanna thank everyone for replying to my posts in the past - I haven't been replying with "thanks" to them all recently, because it doesn't add anything to the topic.

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Reply 87 of 100, by swaaye

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I've had luck with Promise Ultra66 on 486 PCI mobos. You can't run a CDROM on them though.

For that matter, I once ran a Promise SATA150 TX2plus and a SATA notebook HDD on that 486. 😉

Reply 88 of 100, by Tualatin

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If you can boot off those things, consider yourself Champ.

Unfortunately there is no sure way, always has to be try and fail, repeat. I sincerely haaaate that. Especially when some vendors do not stick to specifications.

Now why do I always have to look dumb, telling people... maybe NOT!

Reply 89 of 100, by Amigaz

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retro games 100 wrote:

Regarding PCI controller cards, I got this ancient looking thing off ebay. (No one else was interested. 🤣 ) I've not had a chance to test it yet, but I'm hoping I might get lucky, and it'll work on a suitably ancient mobo such as a 486. I think it's worth a try.

PS - just wanna thank everyone for replying to my posts in the past - I haven't been replying with "thanks" to them all recently, because it doesn't add anything to the topic.

Got one these two but with two IDE channels..it was on a socket 5 mobo I bought which lacked onboard I/O completely

Please let us know if it's any good since I want to use mine on an 486 mobo 😀

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 90 of 100, by retro games 100

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Amigaz wrote:

Please let us know if it's any good since I want to use mine on an 486 mobo 😀

agh! I wish I could do this right now, but unfortunately I'm in the middle of doing something else, but I'll try and return to it ASAP.

swaaye wrote:

I've had luck with Promise Ultra66 on 486 PCI mobos. You can't run a CDROM on them though

How about "slaving" a CDROM off a HDD?

Reply 92 of 100, by bestemor

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I was(sorry to say AM) having a similar problem with my pentium100 mobo, which have no on-board IDE controllers, or floppy for that matter.

I have a PCI controller card from that era, that worked fine for decades, but now not getting any hdd detected.
I DO suspect that it may have something to do with the mobo battery dieing on me, and some strange setting in the ancient BIOS that I can't seem to get right again.
(computer was bought fully assembled)

AAnyways... my POINT beeing that there are probably better suited ATAPI controllers out there, as they discuss in a link I posted earlier on that matter:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f7/ide-controllers-d … e-thread-90930/

From which I conluded that sil/SIIG cards are the way to go for CD-roms etc.

http://desc.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/_W0QQ_nkwZs … argnZ2QQ_sopZ10

*

Btw, I was able to get a hdd to boot use a newer ccard, but it did so by awkwardly going thru that cards bios/startup, not quite as fluently(invisibly) as my original card did before the 'accident'... so haven't yet decided whether to go for it that way, or to try some more to get the old one to work properly again.
(used cards of that vintage are as rare as hen's teeth or something, it seem...?)

Reply 93 of 100, by retro games 100

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bestemor wrote:

I was(sorry to say AM) having a similar problem with my pentium100 mobo, which have no on-board IDE controllers, or floppy for that matter.

Is that very rare? That is to say, a pentium (socket 7) mobo having no onboard IDE & FDD.

Reply 94 of 100, by bestemor

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Not sure how rare the mobo type is, but it is not a socket 7.

Socket 5, SiS board. Kinda like a 486 board, PCI instead of VLB.
Made around the end of 1994.
My P100 maxes it out(P75-100), as it doesn't take any higher speeds.
Store price for almost identical setup at time of purchase was.... £3400.......... 😵

PS: just noticed, Amigaz posted about a board of similar architecture a few posts ago... so can't be that rare.

PPS: if you wanna experiment with CF cards, how about this little thingy ?
Not sure if a 486 would approve of it, but at least you get rid of any cables, heh :
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Make-your-own-Solid-Sta … 3A1%7C294%3A200

Reply 95 of 100, by retro games 100

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gerwin wrote:

Sounds feasable, but I would advise you to verify with a multimeter that the pinout is the same with and without the cable assembly.

Drat. This didn't work. Unfortunately I still haven't got a multimeter, so I just went ahead and tried some tests anyway. I tried these tests -

40 pin ribbon cable - attached to primary IDE connector on a slot 1 mobo. On the cable's middle connector, I attached the small male-to-male 40 pin to 40 pin adapter. Then, on to this adaptor, I attach the IDE CF device. I wasn't sure which way around the male-to-male adaptor should go, so I tried both ways. When these tests failed (on POST, no primary HDD was detected), I tried an 80 conductor cable. Same results were seen, that is to say, no HDD was detected. I discarded both cables (and the m-to-m adaptor), and replugged the IDE CF back on to the mobo's primary IDE connector, and that worked OK, so I hadn't broken anything.

This is disappointing, because I was hoping to be able to "slave" a CD-ROM off the ribbon cable, but my tests never got that far.

Still, the IDE CF device works well. I installed DOS on it, and it boots fine.

Reply 96 of 100, by retro games 100

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Amigaz wrote:

Please let us know if it's any good since I want to use mine on an 486 mobo 😀

Miserable failure I'm afraid. I tried the card featured in the photo, and another similar ancient card with 2 IDE connectors on it. I tried to get it to work about 30 times. Unfortunately, I don't know what I'm doing inside the BIOS, when it comes to getting a PCI IDE card to work. Do I choose ESDI, SCSI, HDD auto detect, PCI card auto slot or slot x, edge or level, etc etc. I tried faffing about with whatever options I thought might work, but nothing worked.

Interestingly, there's a date on the back of the PCI IDE card featured in the photo. It is 22/03/94. The mobo I am testing it on (SYL8884PCI - EIO) must have been approx of that era.

Reply 97 of 100, by retro games 100

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Miserable failure update: I tried the above featured controller card in a socket 7 mobo. After much failure, I decided to take a gamble, and stick on some jumper caps on to the open jumpers on the card. Interesting - the BIOS auto detect HDD mechanism now "sees" the HDD. So far, so good. But unfortunately, the mobo won't boot up with the HDD. My POST test card reports "initialize HD controller" error, before the mobo displays a similar HD failure message on the monitor.

I tried lots of BIOS options - boot up with C: drive or SCSI, select Edge or Level, PCI IDE slot auto or slot X (I tried PCI slot 2), ...

🙁

And the good news? I've got another ancient looking IDE PCI controller card, this time it has 2 IDE ports. That worked like a charm. But really, who cares? The principal object in this lesson was to get these things working on 486s. After all, the Epox socket 7 mobo that I am using to test these things on has very nice integrated IDE ports, which successfully allow me to slave a CD-ROM from the master HDD.

Oh well.

Reply 98 of 100, by retro games 100

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swaaye wrote:

I've had luck with Promise Ultra66 on 486 PCI mobos. You can't run a CDROM on them though.

I've just tested a Promise Ultra 100 TX2 with a modern DVD-ROM reader device. I tried 3 tests -

1) Blue socket 80 wire ribbon cable goes in to Promise, black socket end cable in to HDD, modern DVD-ROM reader goes in the middle grey cable socket. Booting up - no problems at all. The Promise BIOS identified the DVD-ROM correctly, but when the DOS 6 booting stage reached my CD1.sys CD-ROM driver in the auto/config files, it couldn't find the drive. (DVD-ROM was jumpered to "slave".)

2) DVD-ROM now jumpered to "master". Connect up the DVD-ROM to IDE port 2 on the Promise using a 40-pin cable. (Perhaps this is a bad idea, but the printed manual doesn't specifically warn you not to do this.) Booting up - again, no problems at all. The Promise BIOS identified the DVD-ROM correctly, but I get the same "no drive found" problem as mentioned above.

3) I ditch the 486 mobo, and try a slot 1 mobo instead. I go back to the configuration outlined in test 1 above. Exactly the same problem. (I swapped out the CD1.sys file, for OAKCDROM.sys but it didn't help.)

The Promise controller retail box has got the word ATAPI mentioned in various places, so too has the printed manual, but the controller doesn't seem to want to cooperate. Oh well. The HDD booted up OK on the 486, so that was good. 😀 Vogons user bestemor has said that Siig controllers are better for ATAPI devices.

Edit: I continued with my testing, from test number 3 above, and swapped out my DOS 6 HDD with a win98 HDD. Everything seems fine with the DVD-ROM device inside Windows 98. CD access times seem a little bit sluggish, but that could be because I'm running Nero DriveSpeed.

Reply 99 of 100, by 5u3

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Late reply because I've been on vacation, but here we go...

@ retro games 100:
Sorry to hear that your attempts with various add-on IDE controllers didn't work out as expected.
Getting these to function properly on old mainboards is difficult indeed: Modern PCI IDE controllers rely on advanced PCI features (like busmastering), which don't work correctly on old mainboards. On the other hand, old IDE controller cards are exactly the same crap as old onboard controllers.

I use my onboard controller, because don't have the nerve to deal with PCI controller-related problems (and I don't have space left for another PCI card).
486-era onboard controllers have their disadvantages (size limitations, low speed, can't boot from CD-ROM), but at least they work "out of the box", without much configuration hassle.

In my opinion, CF cards are ideal for old integrated IDE controllers: You can get them in sizes to match the size limits, i.e: 512 MB for the 1024 cylinder barrier, 8 GB for the Int13 barrier, etc... The tricky part is to find out what the size limit is on your board. 😉
Compatibility problems with CF cards are rare, because typically they are used in DSLR cameras or other mobile devices, which often come with quirky internal controllers, similar to old mainboards.